"the peruvian amazon reserve"

Fresh, wild-growing tropical fruit, monkeys hanging in the trees overhead, a symphony of jungle sounds lulling you to sleep in a hammock. Do we have your attention yet?
It’s no secret the Amazon basin in South America is a bio-rich paradise for travelerand nature lovers alike, and around two-thirds of Peru lies within this vibrant region. 

This massive expanse of protected rain forest in the Peruvian Amazon basin is nearly one-third the size of Costa Rica. It is also home to more species of birds and butterflies than anywhere else on earth, of comparable size. Tambopata Nature Reserve is quickly becoming recognized worldwide as an off-the-beaten-path destination where locally-owned eco-lodges can bring travelers to the heart of the reserve, and face-to-face with extraordinary wildlife. 

Tambopata is a haven to many endangered species such as the giant otter, jaguar, ocelot, harpy eagle and giant armadillo. It boasts the largest clay lick in the world, where thousands of brilliantly-colored macaws come to feed on the minerals.

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Tambopata National Reserve (Spanish: Reserva Nacional Tambopata).

It is a protected natural area of ​​Peru, located in the department of Madre de Dios, province of Tambopata and extends in the districts of Tambopata and Inambari. The Tambopata National Reserve was created on September 4, 2000, by means of Supreme Decree DS No. 048-2000-AG, with an extension of 274,690 ha, this protected natural area has an average altitudinal gradient of 300msnm in a range of 200 – 400msnm. Within its objectives of creating the reserve, three axes of action have been established: first to protect the flora, fauna and ecological processes of a sample of the southern Amazon rainforest of Peru; second, to generate conservation processes with the population in the area of ​​the reserve, in order to sustainably use resources such as chestnut trees and the landscape for recreation and thirdly contribute to the sustainable development of the region and the country, based on knowledge of the biological diversity and management of the various renewable natural resources.


The annual mean temperature in the area is 26 °C, with a range between 10° and 38 °C. The lower temperatures are caused by cold winds of antarctic origin; these cold waves occur in June and July. The rainy season occurs between December and March.


The Tambopata National Reserve has as its main basins the Tambopata and Heath rivers, in the reserve we can also find the Azul and Malinowsquillo rivers which flow into the right bank of the Malinowski river.

The Tambopata River is born in the Bolivian Peruvian highlands, has an extension of 402km and its main tributary is the Malinowski. This river crosses the Tambopata National Reserve from east to west, being this one of the main accesses to the attractions of the reserve.

The Heath River is born in the Andes in the Puno region and has its mouth in the Madre de Dios River with a distance of 200 km. Along its route it has tributaries Bravo and Wiener.

The Malinowski River or also known as the Carama River, is born on the outskirts of the reserve, in the native community of Kotsimba in the Inambari district, its tributaries are the Pamahuaca, Azul, Malinowsquillo and Agua Negra rivers on the right bank and the river Manuani on the left bank.


The Tambopata river basin has one of the highest rates of biological diversity in the world. The Tambopata National Reserve is located in the middle and lower zone of this basin, next to the city of Puerto Maldonado. Among its most common ecosystems are the aguajales, the swamps, the pacal and the riverside forests, whose physical characteristics allow the local inhabitants to take advantage of the natural resources. The Tambopata National Reserve houses mainly aquatic habitats that are used as whereabouts of more than 40 species of transcontinental migratory birds. In the national reserve, important species considered in danger of extinction are protected and it offers tourism a privileged destination for the observation of the diversity of flora and fauna.


In the Diagnosis of the Process of Preparation of the Master Plan of the Tambopata National Reserve 2011-2016, 1,713 species were reported, belonging to 654 genera of 145 families. For the angiosperms (flowering plants) the classification proposed by the Angyosperm Phylogeny Group (APG III) was considered and for the pteridophytes (ferns) the classification proposed by Smith et al. (2006). Angiosperms register 1,637 species grouped into 127 families and 622 genera, the most diverse families being Fabaceae (158 species), Rubiaceae (104 species) and Moraceae (66 species). Pteridophytes recorded 76 species of 32 genera and 18 families, the most diverse families being: Polypodiaceae (16 species), Pteridaceae (11 species) and Thelypteridaceae (9 species).

It is thus that they can be seen in plains of sedimentation to the aguajales (Mauritia flexuosa), as well as other species with commercial value such as mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), screw (Cedrelinga catenaeformis), cedar (Cedrela odorata), lupuna (Ceiba spp. ), shiringa (Hevea brasilensis), rubber (Castilla elastica) and chestnut (Bertholletia excelsa), of this last species it should be noted that it is the non-timber forest resource with greater economic potential developed in the Tambopata National Reserve, which is used under management plans approved and controlled by the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP).


The presence of more than 632 bird species, 1,200 butterflies, 103 amphibians, 180 fish, 169 mammals and 103 reptiles has been reported in the Tambopata National Reserve. Inside there are healthy habitats for the recovery and refuge of threatened populations of species such as the river wolf (Pteronura brasiliensis), the otter (Lontra longicaudis) and felines such as the yaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), the puma (Puma concolor), the jaguar (Panthera onca), the ocelot or tigrillo (Leopardus pardalis) and the margay (Leopardus wiedii).

Among the primate species are maquisapa (Ateles chamek), the pichico (Saguinus fuscicollis), the pichico emperor (Saguinus imperator), the monkey monkey (Alouatta seniculus), the black-headed monkey (Aotus nigriceps), the monkey monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha), the friar (Saimiri boliviensis), the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), the white machín (Cebus albifrons) and the black machín (Cebus apella).

Other species of mammals that stand out among the wildlife are sachavaca (Tapirus terrestris), huangana (Tayassu pecari), sajino (Tayassu tajacu), red deer (Mazama americana), gray deer (Mazama gouazoubira) and sloths with two fingers (Choloepus hoffmanni) and three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus).

As for birds, the presence of the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), the crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis), the common paujil (Mitu tuberosa), the unicorn paujil (Pauxi unicornis) and the carunculated paujil (Crax globulosa) stands out. In the Tambopata National Reserve there are almost all the species of macaws (Ara spp.) That inhabit Peru.

Other common species are reptiles: emerald boa (Corallus caninus), machaco parrot (Bothriopsis bilineata), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) and shushupe (Lachesis muta). It is also common to observe the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the white caiman (Caiman crocodylus) and the taricaya (Podocnemis unifilis).

The fish also have a great variety, among them the boquichico (Prochilodus nigricans), the Hungarian zungaro (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum), the yahuarachi (Potamorhyna latior), the dorado (Brachyplatystoma flavicans) and the paco (Piaractus brachipomun). Among non-commercial fish are shad (Brycon spp.), Smooth (Schizodon fasciatus) and catfish (Pimelodus sp.).

Tourism in Tambopata

The Tambopata National Reserve is one of the main destinations within the National System of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SINANPE). Due to its great biodiversity and protected natural habitats, this reserve is a privileged site for contact with nature in regards to flora, fauna and landscapes.

The most visited tourist destination is Lake Sandoval, this is described as a 127 ha water mirror, where macaw populations abound in the vegetation surrounding the lake, in addition to allowing the sighting of herons, kingfishers, alligators and otters . This tourist area has accommodation for visitors.

Through the Tambopata river basin there is access to the Cocococha and Sachavacayoc lakes, both are points where wildlife abounds. In Sachavacayoc there is a camping area for tourists to spend the night. In addition to the lakes you also have the Collpas, these are places where animals go to ingest clay from the ravines of the rivers. Between 5:30 and 9:00 am an agglomeration of macaws and parrots is generated that form a spectacle of color and wildlife for tourists. The main collpas are Chuncho and Colorado, both are on the banks of the Tambopata River.


The Ese Ejja and Pukirieri native peoples inhabit the buffer zone surrounding the reserve.

Peru Travel information

When to travel to Peru? Considering that Peru is categorized as one of the 17 megadiverse countries on earth, you have a variety of climates and seasons to consider. That being said, you can visit Peru year-round depending on where you would like to visit. However, if you are looking to explore the Amazonian rainforest or traverse through the Andes Mountains, many travelers choose to avoid the rainy season which runs from November to March with its peak between January and February. Visiting from April through October lands you in the generally dry winter season, which is an excellent time to visit Machu Picchu, experience a world-class trek, traverse the exotic Amazon Rain forest not to mention the other amazing destinations Peru has to offer. Speak with a Qosqo Expeditions Designer today to discover the best time for you to experience a luxury tour of Peru.

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